Of course you know the Fables of Aesop. Perhaps Nanny used to read them to you at bed-time. Probably, as an adolescent, you dined off them on those rare and grand evenings when the Butler had murmured to your Grandfather "And I'll put out the Meissen Service tonight, my lord?" So you will not need me to remind you of the man who bought an ass [in English English, this means donkey] 'on approval' and tested its character by putting it into a stable already full of asses [ditto]. It revealed its flawed personality by immediately settling down beside the laziest and greediest.
"A MAN IS KNOWN BY THE COMPANY HE KEEPS."
We don't really need Aesop any more, now that we have PF. With resolute consistency, he proves Aesop's maxim up to the hilt. And he does it with crony after crony. Just one example. Courtesy of Mr Henry Sire, Knight of Malta, author of the ground-breaking The Dictator Pope, hear now the Fable of Bishop Juan Carlos Maccarone:
"Bergoglio made [Maccarone] an auxiliary bishop at the beginning of his tenure, in 1995. In 2005, Maccarone was dismissed from the episcopate by Pope Benedict after he was filmed having sexual relations with a homosexual prostitute in the sacristy of the cathedral. Yet Cardinal Bergoglio publicly defended him, asserting that the filming was a set-up to bring the bishop down because of his left-wing political commitment. Maccarone, it is worth noting, declared that everyone was aware of his homosexual activities and he had been appointed bishop regardless of them."
A biographer might assemble into a stable pattern various recurrent features of PF's relationships: his appalling selection of cronies; his tendency to keep them in his service even when their failings have attracted public notioriety; and, when this is not possible, how he either gives them a different sinecure or rewards them with hyperbolic marks of his favour and esteem.
The other side of the Bergoglian coin is that when the favour of cronydom is offered to someone, as it was to Cardinal O'Malley, and he fails to measure up, the world suddenly becomes a much colder place.
Thank goodness Cronyism and Corruption are not identical.